by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Few people know how to effectively communicate with hard of hearing people. Thus, it is always a pleasure to hear how well some people have learned proper communication strategies.
One such person is Rachel. Now a young adult, Rachel still makes sure her mother, Karen, who has been hard of hearing since before Rachel’s birth, can understand her. Notice all the things Rachel deliberately does when she talks to her mom. As Karen explains:
Rachel is excellent about communicating with me. She turns on a light near me when the room is too dim, gets my attention, faces me, speaks a little more slowly, gives me the context first, notices when my face turns to perplexed and repeats only the part that I missed, and probably does even more tricks to make the conversation flow more smoothly.
Way to go Rachel! You are a special daughter indeed—and a great role model. If everyone would follow your lead, all of us hard of hearing people would have a much easier time living in the hearing world.
If you would like to learn more about effectively communicating with hard of hearing people, you will find these, and many other communications tips in my short book, Talking with Hard of Hearing People—Here’s How to Do It Right! Click on the above link and scroll down to the second book from the bottom.